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Towards a South African Injury Costing Model: A Review of the Literature for the Development of a Process Path

Brett Bowman


The costs of injury are of obvious importance for the purposes of priority setting in prevention planning by policy makers and stakeholders in general. The economic costs of injury and death have been the focus of considerable international attention in recent years. Localisation of these studies and their methods to the South African injury context, however, remains largely underdeveloped. The costing of fatal and non-fatal injuries in South Africa consists of a number of initiatives undertaken by various segments of both the public and private sectors. This article will review the existing literature devoted to the estimation of costs in various sectors of the South African morbidity and mortality contexts, with a view to illustrating the manner in which this information informed both provisional processes and structure for the implementation of a nationwide South African injury costing project. The literature is examined across three primary dimensions: the precise object of the study, the method employed in the costing of that object, and the sample coverage of the method.

The findings of the review indicated a number of significant entry-points for the development of a local South African costing model. A preponderance of direct medical costing, significantly discrepant expenditure figures between the public and private health care systems and blurring of distinct costing concepts are problematic themes throughout the review of the literature. This article illustrates the manner in which the identification of the problems and promises of these existing costing studies informed the sites, injury types and methodology selected for development and implementation Costing Project.

African Safety Promotion Vol.1(1) 2002: 55-64